It’s tax season & free tax preparation is available at the Queen Anne Library

It’s that time of year, tax documents are starting to arrive and April 15th will be here sooner than you know it!

If you need tax help or full-on tax preparation, the Seattle Public Library has partnered with United Way of King County and AARP to offer free tax preparation services from now through mid-April at SPL branches, including our own Queen Anne Library.

Trained volunteers will be at the Queen Anne Library every Wednesday and Saturday from noon-4pm to answer questions and help prepare personal tax returns. Note: he service is not available for business tax returns.

Appointments are not required, assistance is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Here’s what you need to bring to the library:

  • Social Security cards for everyone listed on the tax return (photocopies are not accepted)
  • Government issued photo ID (required)
  • Income tax forms such as W-2s, 1099s, SSA-1099s, etc.
  • Health care coverage information for each person on the return
  • Health coverage forms, if applicable (1095-A,B,C)
  • Tuition statements, if applicable (1098s)
  • Check with bank account and routing numbers, for direct deposit of refund, if applicable
  • Copy of your last tax return is recommended

Note: due to federal budget cuts the IRS is unable to provide the Library with certain tax forms and instruction booklets. You can find most IRS forms online at

Firefighter Story Time at the Queen Anne Library this Thursday

halloween-14-qa-fire-mainA favorite Seattle Public Library program is coming back to Queen Anne. October is fire prevention month, and Seattle Fire Department firefighters will hold story times with books on fire safely for local children. Plus, they will have firefighting equipment and trucks on display to inspire all future firefighters.

Firefighter Story Times is free and everyone is welcome, no registration required. In addition, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be available.

Mark your calendars for this Thursday, October 6th from 11am to 11:30am at the Queen Anne Branch, 400 W Garfield St for Firefighter Story Time. Especially timely or those little ones who plan to be firefighters this Halloween (like the photo above from a couple Halloweens ago) or beyond.

Saturday is International Games Day at the Queen Anne Library

ALA Games DayThe American Library Association has declared November 21st “International Games Day” for libraries across the country. Seattle is no exception, and you can celebrate board and card games at the Queen Anne branch of the Seattle Public Library this Saturday.

From 1pm to 5pm, the library is hosting a free classic board games event that’s free and open to all – kids, teens, and adults are all welcome. The library will have board games on hand, and you can bring your own to share with other gamers.

Sorry piecesThe library has limited space, so arrive early to secure your spot in the celebration of games. Since the event is 4 hours, you may also be able to drop in during the 1pm-5pm timeslot to pick up game of classic board games like Clue or Sorry, Chinese checkers, chess, Uno, and more.

Game on!

Get free tax help this season at the Queen Anne Library

This year, the IRS is short-staffed and that means the upcoming tax season could be a little more daunting for some taxpayers. According to Forbes, IRS budget cuts will mean refund delays, correspondence delays, fewer resolutions, and unanswered calls.

But, don’t fret just yet. AARP is offering free tax-preparation at libraries across Seattle, including our own Queen Anne Library branch. The AARP Tax-Aide is free and open to all taxpayers.

QALibraryThe AARP’s tax-certified volunteers on hand at the sessions can answer 2014 filing questions, including changes based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and help prepare your tax returns.

The Queen Anne Library tax-prep sessions begin Wednesday, February 4th and run through April. Sessions will run from noon-5pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. No appointments, walk-ins only (and welcome).

Join the Seattle Chamber Music Society for a free lecture at the Queen Anne Library

The Seattle Chamber Music Society will kick off its Winter Festival later this month. The 2015 Winter Festival includes both paid concerts and free recitals at Benaroya Hall, plus a Family Concert on January 24th.

To give you a taste of what they have on tap for the upcoming Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Society (SCMS) is hosting a free Preview Lecture at the Queen Anne Library tomorrow, Wednesday, January 14th, from 3pm to 4pm.

According to SCMS, the multimedia presentation will “explore the development of the accompanied violin sonata as well as the birth of the concerto. We’ll explore violin sonatas by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, a viola sonata by Schubert, and also have a look at the earliest form of concerti with Vivaldi’s 1711 L’Estro Armonico.”

Jeremy Jolley, Director of Education Programs, and Seneca Garber, Director of Marketing will lead the informal presentation that will include a background on the history and impact of the upcoming musical works, plus recorded musical examples.

The event is free and open to all.

Seattle Sketcher sketches Queen Anne library

Seattle Sketcher QA Library

Sketch by Seattle Sketcher, Gabriel Campanario

Last month, the Seattle Sketcher (aka Gabriel Campanario), asked via Twitter what Queen Anne locations would be good subjects.

That week, I’d published a blog post on the Seattle Public Libarary Queen Anne branch’s 100th anniversary celebration, so I suggested the library, and voila!

Today, the Seattle Times published his drawings of our library in a post entitled: “Queen Anne Library to turn page on century of memories” – so a nice tie-in to this Sunday’s birthday celebration at the library.

You can check out his sketches in the Seattle Times article (or click on the image) – and don’t forget this weekend’s free celebration at the Queen Anne branch:

When: Sunday, January 12th, 2pm to 4pm
Where: Queen Anne branch, Seattle Public Library (400 W Garfield St)
What’s happening:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs

Queen Anne library turns 100 in January – help mark a century with your own scrapbook entry

QALibraryOur Queen Anne library branch one of the coolest spots on Queen Anne – ok, I’m partial to libraries, but you have to admit, our branch is beautiful!

What makes our library so special, other than that it’s ours? Well, for starters, it’s one of six Carnegie libraries in Seattle. From the brickwork to the windows to the multi-colored roof, I think everyone can admit it’s pretty unique and a special spot on Queen Anne.

Library Plaque

Plaque with 1913 construction date

Andrew Carnegie gave Seattle $200,000 to build a new fireproof library after the original Yesler Mansion burned in 1901. In 1910, he went on to donate $105,000 for the West Seattle, Green Lake, and University District branches. Another gift of $70,000 resulted in our Queen Anne branch in 1914 and the Columbia branch in 1915.

The Queen Anne branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a landmark building by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. In addition to its architectural significance, the Queen Anne branch is also a key part of our neighborhood’s history, and it’s celebrating a big birthday – 100 years – in January.

QA Library kids

SPL Collection: Queen Anne Library branch
ca. late 1950s-early 1960s
Submitted by Mrs. Floyd W. Mason, Jr. Queen Anne Manor

It looks pretty good for a centenarian (thanks in part to a 2007 renovation), and is well loved by patrons both young and old.

Although, it did cause quite a stir for one Queen Anne resident 100 years ago – one parent sent the following letter to Miss Helen Watson, the branch’s first children’s librarian:

“Dear Madam: Will you please stop John and Mary from getting any more books as we can’t get anything out of them at all – they won’t go to bed at night and won’t get up in the morning and won’t do anything but read when they do get up.”

To celebrate the special anniversary, the Seattle Public Library is planning a free celebration at the Queen Anne branch on Sunday, January 12th from 2pm to 4pm. Activities include:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show – step back in time and try on one or more of 50 vintage hats!
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs

Queen Anne library scrapbook paper
Pick up yours today!

And, you can be a part of the preparations via an anniversary scrapbook that the library is putting together. Just stop by the library and share written stories now about your favorite Queen Anne branch experiences on specially designed scrapbook paper.

The paper is available now at the branch, so be sure to take part in the storytelling today.  Your story may be featured in another 100 years, just as the “stop John and Mary from getting any more books” story was shared today!

The anniversary scrapbook will be on display during the celebration, so make plans now to share your stories to mark the happy occasion. If you can’t make it to the library, you can also email your story to and it’ll be included in the scrapbook. Submissions will be taken up to January 12th.

And, mark your calendars to join in the celebration on January 12th, and Happy (early) Birthday, Queen Anne library!

Intrepid band of Seattle readers are celebrating Read Across America by visiting every SPL branch

The National Educators Association (NEA) sponsors Read Across America every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd, and a local group of Seattle Library Walkers will be trekking 30 miles as they criss-cross Seattle to visit each and every SPL branch (27 in total). And, as you likely know from our Wednesday post, the Queen Anne Library will be hosting the Sundays are Special event this weekend – so, naturally, the group has planned its two day walk to include a Sunday stop at the Queen Anne library.

The group members will be sporting striped Cat in the Hat hats and stopping to read from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” at each library branch. Everyone is welcome to join in!

The walk starts at 7:30am on Saturday at the Columbia City branch, and the Sunday walk picks up at the Broadview branch the next morning. The schedule is below if you’d like to jump in, and keep your eyes peeled on Sunday for the group making their way from Magnolia between roughly 1:30pm and 2pm, stopping at our branch by 2pm, then winding their way to Fremont.

Updated route info from the group:

We’ll be working our way up Dravis from Magnolia and then through Queen Anne to the Aurora Bridge.

Saturday, March 2nd:
1. Columbia (7:30am) 2. New Holly (8:10am) 3. Rainier Beach (8:50am) 4. South Park (10:30am) 5. Southwest (11:40am) 6. High Point (12:20pm) 7. Delridge (12:45pm) 8. West Seattle (1:45pm) 9. Beacon Hill (3:30pm) 10. Madrona-Sally Goldmark (4:45pm) 11. Douglass-Truth (5:10pm) 12. International District/Chinatown (5:40pm) 13. Central Library (5:50pm)

Sunday, March 3rd:
1. Broadview (7:30am) 2. Lake City (8:20am) 3. Northgate (9:00am) 4. Northeast (10:00am) 5. Greenlake (10:40am) 6. Greenwood (11:10am) 7. Ballard (12:00pm) 8. Magnolia (1:00pm) 9. Queen Anne (2:00pm) 10. Fremont (2:45pm) 11. Wallingford (3:10pm) 12. University (3:40pm) 13. Montlake (4:30pm) 14. Capitol Hill (5:20pm) 15. Central Library (5:50pm)

Celebrate new Queen Anne Library hours at Sundays are Special event this… Sunday

As reported back in December, Sunday hours are a welcome 2013 change for our local Seattle Public Library branch – and now our Queen Anne branch has its turn at celebrating with the community! Mark your calendars for this Sunday, March 3rd for the Sundays are Special celebration, which runs from 2pm-3:30pm.

I spoke with the Library director about the event, and in addition to refreshments and craft activities (which are drop-in during the celebration), he also expects special guest attendees including City Librarian Marcellus Turner and SPL Director of Programs and Service Stephanie Chase. I’ve also confirmed with the Seattle City Council that Councilmember (and Queen Anne resident)  Tim Burgess will be attending Sunday’s event.

The Friends of The Seattle Public Library will be at the event with customized Queen Anne branch canvas tote bags. These will be limited-edition bags, and it’s cash only ($15) to get one of your own.

In addition to the celebratory activities, you can also participate in the Check-Out Challenge – visit any Library branch on Sundays until May 5 to get your card stamped. Patrons with 15 stamps can enter a prize-drawing for a chance to win a booklovers basket and lunch with Marcellus Turner, SPL City Librarian. Plus, if your old SPL card is worn-out or you just want to change things up, you can also swap out your card for one of the new ones with photos of the Central Library, Space Needle, Pike Place Market, or Mt Rainier.

Remember, you can stop in at the Queen Anne Library any Sunday between 1pm and 5pm in 2013 – the only non-holiday where you’ll see a “closed” sign on the door is Friday.

All SPL Branches Open Sundays in 2013, Sunday Celebration at Queen Anne Branch and More

I’ve all too often walked to the Queen Anne Library on a Friday or Sunday to be foiled by a “closed” sign. But now, thanks to the library levy approved by voters in August, I’ll only need to remember to plan around Fridays. Starting in January, all Seattle Public Library branches will be open on Sundays; the Queen Anne Library branch will be open 1pm-5pm every Sunday.

You may recall taking an SPL survey a few months ago – if you took it and asked SPL to have more accessible hours, your voice has been heard! (I asked for both Sundays and more consistent hours, but I’ll take Sundays).

In an SPL press release, City Librarian Marcellus Turner stated:

“At community meetings and through patron surveys, we heard that Sunday hours were important. Particularly for families, working people and students, having Library service available in every neighborhood on Sunday will be a huge benefit.”

To celebrate the new Sunday hours, all libraries with new Sunday hours will participate in special celebrations on Sundays. The “Sundays are Special” events will be held from 2pm-3:30pm, featuring a children’s craft activity and refreshments.

The Queen Anne branch will host Sundays are Special on Sunday, March 3rd.

Other noteworthy SPL news:

  • Check-Out Sundays Challenge: just visit any SPL branch on Sundays and get your Check-Out Challenge card stamped. Once you get 15 stamps, you can enter to win prizes such as Booklovers Baskets and lunch with City Librarian Marcellus Turner.
  • Sundays Survey: Complete a survey about the types of services and activities you’d like to see on Sundays. Surveys are available at the library through January.
  • New Library Cards: 5 new Library cards will be available in 2013, you can swap out your old card for a new one at no charge. The new cards include a special design for kids, and four different Seattle images – Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Mount Rainier and the Central Library.